Scotland is becoming a global hotspot in the cruise industry, being widely recognised as one of the fastest growing destinations in the world. Figures from trade body Cruise Scotland show a 16.75 per cent year-on-year rise in passenger numbers to 794,577, with an 8.4% increase in ships to 825.
To service this demand the former Cockenzie Power Station, which was decommissioned in March 2013, is being proposed as a new port by Prestonpans Community Council. Located on the 230-acre Preston Links site, owned by East Lothian Council, the site is intended to service the lucrative and popular Edinburgh cruise market. Current port facilities there are considered inadequate due to the Forth bridges and the small size of Leith docks. This new development offers a sheltered location amidst deep water, with the proposal including a finger pier similar to that found in Tallinn. A continental ferry port is also proposed at the site, along with turnaround faculties for cruise liners to enable vital re-stocking and crew changes.
Concerns over the extent of dredging required to create the port have been voiced by environmental groups.